Motorcycles SRT "seemed more upset" than Yamaha at 2020 MotoGP title loss
Petronas-Yamaha: Does Rossi and Morbidelli succeed in compensation?
Valentino Rossi brings magere four points and Franco Morbidelli goes completely empty: After the flap at the start, the Petronas pilots hope for improvement The Petronas Yamaha team experienced a disappointing season opener last weekend. After the good qualifying of Valentino Rossi and the strong Longruns of Franco Morbidelli in training and testing team boss Razlan Razali was able to make hope for podium places of his drivers.
Petronas SRT team principal Razlan Razali admits his squad appeared “more upset” at losing the 2020 MotoGP title than Yamaha was, but stresses this situation has been “addressed”.
Fabio Quartararo was Yamaha’s leading rider for much of the 2020 season, with his three victories keeping him in the lead of the championship until the Aragon Grand Prix when a front tyre pressure issue dropped him to a career-worst 18th.
From that point, Quartararo’s title hopes quickly evaporated and he ended the campaign eighth in the standings.
Petronas SRT unveils 2021 MotoGP livery with Rossi and Morbidelli
Petronas SRT has become the latest MotoGP team to unveil the livery its 2021 challengers will race in the new season with revised line-up Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi. © Petronas Yamaha SRT Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT The 2021 season will be SRT’s third in the premier class, the Yamaha satellite team in its short tenure already a six-time race winner. Last year, Morbidelli won three times on his way to runner-up spot in the championship, and ended up just 13 points behind title winner Joan Mir.
Yamaha’s hopes of the constructors’ championship were also severely affected by a loss of 50 points handed to it as punishment for running illegal engines at the season-opening Spanish GP – the Japanese marque losing out to Ducati by 17 points in the finale in Portugal.
Asked about rumours of disharmony between SRT and Yamaha last year, Razali confirmed his team felt as if it was just a “paying customer” rather than a works-supported partner.
But tensions have since been diffused as Yamaha “recognised” SRT’s concerns and a the first draft of a new proposal covering 2022-2026 has been tabled.
“We have addressed that situation during our end of the year briefing with Yamaha, which was in December, where at the same time they have given us a proposal for the next five years,” Razali said following SRT’s 2021 launch event.
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“We have addressed that how we felt that we were just a paying customer and not a partner.
“We felt that it was us that wants to do more than the other.
“We were very, very upset when we lost the championship and Yamaha lost the constructors’ in Valencia 1.
“It seemed we were more upset than them. But we addressed all that and I’m pleased they recognised that fact and they’re proposal beyond 2022 is more than what happened in the last two years.
“They’re looking at rider development from other championship, Asian Championship, Japanese Championship.
“They’re looking at our young riders in Moto3 and Moto2, so they really want to optimise the relationship that we have to make sure that we develop the riders as much as possible so the riders will remain in the Yamaha family.
“So, we have already seen that, which is only very positive and I’m very pleased.
“And we hope that come May and June we can finalise this new collaboration with Yamaha and [you can] stop calling us independent team or satellite team. I just hate those two terms.”
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SRT will field a full factory-supported M1 for new signing Valentino Rossi in 2021, while 2020 runner-up Franco Morbidelli will remain on a slightly updated ‘A-spec’ bike.
Looking ahead to 2022, Razali didn’t rule out a potential tie-up with another manufacturer or with the VR46 team should Rossi field a squad next year as is expected.
But Razali stresses any decision on SRT’s future plans will be dictated by what title partner Petronas wants.
“We are open, we are very much open and we will not close the doors on any opportunities,” he said when asked about a potential SRT/VR46 collaboration.
“But the most important thing is the direction and the strategy of our title partner Petronas.
“They will determine what we want to do as a high-level team moving forward.
“We just have to wait and see because until they come and approach us we won’t know.
“But I’m not closing the door, we are very much open on any opportunities and proposals.”
World Superbike publishes entry list for 2021 season .
The World Superbike Championship has issued a provisional entry list for the 2021 season, with 24 riders representing 16 teams and five different manufacturers. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Scott Redding, Aruba.it Racing Ducati, Michael van Der Mark, Pata Yamaha, Alex Lowes, Kawasaki Racing Team The factory Kawasaki team will carry an unchanged line-up this year, with six-time champion Jonathan Rea partnering Alex Lowes for the second consecutive season after the latter’s switch from Yamaha in 2020.